Jan 24, 2014
An affidavit has shown that a judge in Hunt County, TX made disparaging and negative statements about county commissioners and exclaimed that they would pay in an upcoming suit the judge recused himself from presiding over.
Judge Steve Tittle was scheduled to preside over a lawsuit brought to the court by county commissioners against several contractors who handled development of the county jail. They claim it is breaking down.
They claim the complex, which is over one decade old, has gaps in the walls and cracks in the floor. The suit alleges the floors slope so poorly that workers have to place lumber in between the baseboards and walls.
The suit is after damages of up to $30 milion to cover the costs of the repairs.
Tittle was going to preside over the case. However, he cut several thousand dollars in monies to the probation department after his friend lost her place there a few years ago. He simply waived the basic fees that probationers were required to pay, which was their primary source of income.
After the firing, Tittle tried to force the manager of his friend to come before him during several cases with probationers that he did not supervise directly.
The Texas attorney general issued a ruling that said the judge didn’t possess adequate authority to do that.
Tittle has only shown more vitriol against the county since then.
In a motion that the county filed to recuse him from the case, his old court reporter said in an affidavit that the judge had told her that “the commissioners were stupid and that they would pay one way or another”.
A lawyer who represents the county said he didn’t know of a more egregious statement a judge could make. He is seeking to remove Tittle from the case.
The judge’s previous court reporter has been fired.
Court records also show that Tittle said he would duct-tape the district attorney’s mouth. Court records show some pretty damning statements by Judge Title. He apparently characterized the statements of the distrct attorney as “outbursts” and he said, “if there are any more funny outbursts, the court has a notepad, a pen, and duct tape.
He then recommended that she write her question and another person would read them in open court.
The distrct attorney was never actually duct taped, and she did not respond to a request for comment.
Hunt County sought to have the judge recused on Monday. He withdrew from the case on Tuesday.
In a statement issued to everyone involved, Tittle mentioned that he had a very “heavy docket” and that would stop him from carrying out a drawn-out trial.
He said that he requested that another judge take on the case about a month ago.